Erdogan Slams NATO For Lack Of Support In Syria

Glen Norman
March 12, 2018

Ankara launched its offensive in the Afrin region on its border in January, aiming to drive out the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as an extension of the PKK group that has fought a three-decade insurgency inside Turkey.

Ankara's offensive on the Kurdish-held enclave in northwestern Syria is now in its 51st day as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to increase the operation beyond Afrin.

"Turkey is more than welcome to go back and read the exact text of this UN Security Council resolution, and I would suggest that they do so", US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on February 27, stating that the Afrin region was "certainly within Syria". A number of towns and villages were taken from the YPG on Sunday by Turkey's military and its allies in the north and south of the Kurdish district. More than one million people are now in Afrin city and villages around it after fleeing the fighting, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group.

He said Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested, but did not receive support in return.

"Of course, Turkey will not permit this", Ramazani said. The operation was not to "occupy" but "liberate", he said, and then hand over to local residents. "Once Afrin is captured, it will be delivered to its true owners", said Erdoğan.

Turkey has been waging "Operation Olive Branch" against Syria's Afrin region since January 20 in a bid to eliminate the YPG, which forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that enjoys U.S. support. Erdogan also denounced North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on Sunday, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back Turkey's campaign.

"Hey NATO where are you?"

"We have a 911-kilometer border [with Syria] and terrorist organizations are harassing us constantly from this border. Are we not a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member?" Turkey describes the militias as offshoots of the terrorist-labeled outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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